Even though there was a single game on Tuesday night, Wednesday was for all intents and purposes the NHL's real return from the Olympic break (Tuesday's game was a makeup game from an earlier snowed out game in Buffalo).
All things considered, it was a pretty interesting night of hockey.
We had a couple of games get tied in the last minute (Buffalo-Boston, Detroit-Montreal), two full minutes of three-on-three hockey in overtime in Montreal, a pretty surprising upset win by the Sabres, an offensive explosion by the Los Angeles Kings, and one freaked out Avalanche fan after Jordan Nolan whiffed on a check and smashed himself into the boards.
All the NHL Scores
Sabres 5, Bruins 4
Red Wings 2, Canadiens 1
Kings 6, Avalanche 4
Canucks 1, Blues 0
On Wednesday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. How will the Montreal Canadiens do without Carey Price?
Peter Budaj played fine in place of the injured Price and gave his team a chance to earn a point in the standings. The problem is nobody else on Montreal really played all that well in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings. A late goal from Brian Gionta is the only thing that salvaged the night for Montreal as the Canadiens were badly outplayed and spent most of the night chasing the play in their own end of the ice. Price will also miss Montreal's game in Pittsburgh on Thursday with a lower body injury he suffered during the Olympics.
2. What will Pavel Datsyuk do for Detroit?
He had four shots on goal but did not factor into the scoring for the Red Wings. He did create a couple of chances, including a great opportunity in overtime during an extended three-on-three sequence. Johan Franzen had a nifty setup on Todd Bertuzzi's first period goal in his return to the lineup, while youngsters Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar also played strong games for the Red Wings.
3. Will Boston beat Buffalo without Tuukka Rask?
They did not, and it was a pretty wild game. The Sabres raced out to a 3-1 lead, let it slip away, tied the game in the final minute on a Matt Moulson goal, then won it in overtime when Matt D'Agostini beat Zdeno Chara to a loose puck and beat Bruins goalie Chad Johnson with a nice move on a partial breakaway. After beating the Carolina Hurricanes on a last-minute goal on Tuesday the Sabres are 2-0 coming out of the Olympic break.
4. Can the Kings get a win?
Not only did the Los Angeles Kings win in Colorado, they scored six goals, which is perhaps even more stunning than the win itself. Coming into Wednesday the Kings had won just two of 11 games and scored just 15 goals in the process. Anze Kopitar, as he always is, was the biggest offensive star for Los Angeles, scoring a pair of goals including the game-winner on a power play just three minutes into the third period.
5. Can Jaroslav Halak make his case to keep the Blues' No. 1 job?
I think you can say yes, even if it came in defeat. Halak stopped 34 of 35 shots, allowing only a Jannik Hansen third period goal on a partial breakaway. The Blues managed just 20 shots on goal in the loss.
The one play or moment from Wednesday that will be making headlines over the next couple of days.
This time of year it's almost always about the latest and greatest trade rumor, and on Wednesday we had a couple of big ones. For one, there was the latest chapter in the Martin St. Louis saga in Tampa Bay where he refused to confirm or deny his reported trade request, and the rumor that he will only accept a trade to the New York Rangers. If that wasn't enough, reports surfaced later in the night that Ryan Kesler asked his way out of Vancouver earlier this season. Between these two developments and the uncertainty around Ryan Callahan with the New York Rangers this could be the most interesting trade deadline in years.
Stat of the Night
Over the previous five seasons Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr had scored just five goals. His first period goal on Wednesday was not only already his third of the season, but it was also his second goal in as many games. Who would have guessed that Robyn Regehr, of all players, would be the guy to get the Kings offense going in the right direction.
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